Bid to save station

Exterior of new planned coastguard station
Exterior of new planned coastguard station
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LAST ditch plans to save the region’s coastguard station have been announced by campaigners.

Liverpool Coastguard station –which covers the seas off Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre – is one of eight in the UK listed for closure as part of Government cuts in July this year.

As part of the restructure, a new national search and rescue centre was planned to be built in Southampton.

And other sub-centres – operating in daylight hours only will be in Falmouth, Humber, Milford, Haven, Belfast, Aberdeen and Holyhead.

But campaigners want to convert Liverpool station into the national hub, a plan they say would cost £900,000.

They believe the current building is under-utilised and could be developed at a fraction of the cost of a new centre on the south coast, saving the tax payer millions of pounds.

Officials said maintaining a Mersey presence would also mean quicker response times to the Fylde coast, which would be covered by Holyhead if the Crosby station is closed.

Their proposal would see the existing building joined to the garage alongside it and developed into a larger centre of operations.

Sue Claasen, PCS union representative for Liverpool Coastguard, said: “All we can do is hope the Government are going to take it seriously.

“It is a viable plan, it’s cost efficient, and it is a good use of taxpayers’ money.

“Local knowledge is the main thing and ultimately closing the station is going to have an impact on the response times for incidents.”

The Government said those stations that were listed for closure would be shut down by 2015. People have until Thursday to help prevent the closure of Liverpool Coastguard.

To back the campaign visit www.saveliverpoolcoastguard.org or sign up to the new campaign at www.38degrees.org.uk.